15 Best Arrows in Skyrim (Ranked)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
The life of a bowman is one filled with dangers. It’s a life that requires quick reaction times, great aim, a powerful bow and, most importantly, a set of arrows capable of piercing through any target.
Sure, having the skills to be a master bowman is a crucial part of the craft. But the skills are irrelevant if your arrows can’t even go through a stack of hay.
This list has my picks for the best 15 types of arrows that you can find in Skyrim. If you want to be the best bowman and master the art of the bow and arrow, then this list is the first step on this arduous yet rewarding journey. Keep in mind that some of these arrows are difficult to find so nabbing all of these can be a challenge!
15. Ancient Nord Arrow
The Ancient Nord arrows are the best types of ammunition to be shot with no discretion, mainly because they cost next to nothing and they’re very easy to get.
They weigh almost nothing as well so bowmen who need to shoot more in exchange for efficiency and power might find comfort in collecting Ancient Nord arrows from the Draugr.
14. Riekling Spear
Riekling Spears, as the name suggests, are spear-like weapons wielded by the Rieklings in the Dragonborn DLC.
The wielders can use them as spears or arrows, but the player can only use them as arrows themselves.
They’re a solid choice to carry around but they’re not as light as the ancient nord arrows and do the same damage as steel arrows, all with less movement speed and range. Certainly nothing too special but they’re strong enough to justify a place in this list.
13. Steel Arrow
Steel arrows are incredibly common given that they spawn from basically the beginning of the game.
This run of the mill arrow type can also used by almost any archer, so you’re likely to come across a large amount of this ammunition whenever you travel the lands of Skyrim.
They’re sold by almost every merchant in the game and getting your hands on them is quite an easy task to achieve. With a base damage of 10, they’re far more common than anything else yet still powerful enough to take down your foes.
12. Orcish Arrow
Orcish arrows are the first type of arrow that you’ll want to purchase if you’re a new player to the game.
They are sold in every city and they don’t have a level requirement. As such, the Orcish arrows are the first type of valuable arrow in the game apart from steel ammunition.
And it’s worth noting they do more damage than a regular steel arrow with a base damage of 12.
You may also collect these arrows from most bandit camps and sell them at general stores as they go for 3 coins apiece. New bowmen might struggle to come across money at the beginning of the game so Orcish arrows could help you amass a small fortune!
11. Dwarven Arrow
With a base damage of 14, Dwarven arrows are powerful pieces of ranged weaponry that can be obtained from merchants, high-level bandits, or by pillaging the ruins of the ancient Dwemer civilization.
They may also be crafted by the player if they collect Dwarven metal ingots which are very easy to come across and certainly worth your time.
Their base damage makes them a trusty companion and a solid type of arrow to carry around if you take the time to collect enough ingots to craft them.
10. Nordic Arrow
The Nordic arrow shares the same characteristics as the Dwarven arrow, but they’re not as commonly obtained as their Dwemer counterparts.
As such it’s not as recommended to carry them around in stacks as it is with the Dwarven pieces.
The elegant design of the Nordic arrow is representative of Nords themselves, who might sometimes carry a lot of this type of ammunition. Note this is also different than the Ancient Nord Arrows I mentioned earlier. I’d say these are much more “usable” in a traditional battlefield.
The most common way to obtain this 14-base damage dealers is by crafting them yourself. But the process requires firewood, steel ingots, and quicksilver so you’ll need to some traveling.
9. Elven Arrow
The powerful Elven arrows are not meant to be used by starter Bowmen. They require you to level up quite a bit before you can even obtain them but I say it’s well worth the wait.
In any case they have a base damage of 16 and are often carried by Thalmor soldiers and many high-level foes.
They can also be found in chests in many levels so be sure to loot as much as you can.
8. Glass Arrow
Glass arrows are one of the main and most powerful types of arrows that can be found in Skyrim’s main game, although they’re outclassed by some variations of the Elven arrow with lower damage.
Glass arrows are made of malachite and, with a base damage of 18, they’re one of the most sought-after types of ammunition that most mid to high-level archers and bowmen usually attempt to get their hands on.
7. Dwarven Sphere Centurion Arrow
This is the only arrow in this list that is not obtainable by the player unless console commands are used.
These powerful arrows are shot by the Centurion Spheres that protect the Dwemer ruins, and their power is said to be amongst the highest in the game.
They have a base damage of 20 so if you’re on the receiving end of these you might be better off running if you don’t have a shield!
They can be found in museums across Skyrim and in some parts of Dwemer ruins, and they only differ from regular Dwarven arrows in the sense that they have a red-colored tip.
6. Ebony Arrow
Ebony arrows are a type of arrow preferred by Dark Brotherhood enthusiasts given their pitch-black coloring(including the quiver).
They start spawning at level 21 but they can be purchased from level 40 onwards.
With a set of ebony arrows you can deal a fearful base damage of 20, with each arrow selling for around 7 Septims apiece.
Note they can be crafted with Ebony ingots at forges so be sure to get your hands dirty and collect as many ingots as you can. There’s no denying these are some of the most powerful in the game, turning even the weakest of archers into powerful warriors.
5. Stalhrim Arrow
Stalhrim arrows must be crafted by using Stalhrim and firewood and they’re also incredibly powerful.
You need to complete the quest called A New Source of Stalhrim in order to have access to the material, which of course requires the Dragonborn DLC to be installed.
You can find them by looting Glover Mallory (the Breton smith) or in some chests/containers spread across the region.
They very rarely spawn though, so your best way to get these arrows is by forging them yourself.
4. Bloodcursed Elven Arrow
After completing the “Touching the Sky” quest in the Dawnguard DLC you’ll be allowed to turn regular Elven arrows into their Bloodcursed version.
They have a very peculiar use as they black out the sun when you shoot it with Auriel’s Bow.
However these arrows share the same base damage as regular Elven arrows and the effect of blocking out the sun for a day only has a few practical applications.
3. Sunhallowed Elven Arrow
Sunhallowed arrows also share the same base damage with regular Elven arrows. They can be obtained by Knight-Paladin Gelbor as he enchants them for the player when they bring him regular Elven arrows.
They can also be shot with Auriel’s Bow towards the sun to produce an explosion that damages friends and foes alike, or they can be aimed at enemies to cause a damaging sunlight effect that lasts for a few seconds.
Try these out yourself and you’ll see the raw power they possess.
2. Daedric Arrow
Daedric arrows are exquisite pieces of archery ammunition that can prove to be rather challenging to obtain.
They resemble most pieces of traditional Daedric weaponry with a grey-and-black color palette and a terrifying design worthy of the depths of Oblivion.
In essence, Daedric arrows are made of ebony.
However they are fused with the heart of a Daedra which gives them a hellish amount of power. They can be found by the Dragonborn at high levels or crafted using the materials mentioned above along with some firewood in a forge.
They’re crafted in sets of 24 so you can end up with quite a handful if you spend enough time foraging.
1. Dragonbone Arrow
With a base damage of 25, Dragonbone arrows are the most powerful types of arrows in the entire game.
They’re also quite difficult to obtain(big surprise).
You need to be above level 45 if you want to get your hands on them, and they rarely spawn in the game world either. The only guaranteed location where you’ll always find them is in the Soul Cairn.
You might also craft these arrows by killing dragons and obtaining their bones for materials. Smelt them in a forge with some firewood and you’ll have yourself some very powerful arrows.